It just occurred to me earlier this week that I have not seen any hot cross buns here. I know we get bombarded with the supermarket version straight after Christmas back in Australia so it feels a little quiet here in the lead up to Easter. Back home it is all about the Easter eggs, hot cross buns, roasting a leg of lamb on Easter Sunday, going camping or heading up to the coast. But we don’t even get a long weekend here.
But I have been baking these delicious Hot Cross Buns. If you haven’t made your own then I highly recommend it. You will not buy better ones. These are light and fluffy and highly addictive. We make a chocolate version too which is very popular with the kids. My plan for Easter Sunday morning, after church, is to invite some friends and neighbours over for an Easter egg hunt followed by freshly baked hot cross buns and coffee. I’m still undecided about roasting a leg of lamb though. Most of them are from Australia surprisingly and cost a pretty penny.
Last weekend we headed to the snow for a bit of skiing. I decided to take some biscuits with us to enjoy with our hot chocolate. The kids usually request chocolate chip cookies but I enjoy a bit more variety. So I’ve taken to making a big batch of plain cookies and then adding different toppings for a box of assorted cookies. The addition of cornflour in these cookies gives the cookie a nice short bite.
Elliott was my little helper in the kitchen and he carefully topped his cookies with chocolate chips (not all the chocolate chips made it to the cookies) and a sprinkle of coconut. I just raided the pantry and topped the remaining cookies with whole pecans and made indents and filled with Dulce de Leche. But use these cookies as a base for jam drops, dotty cookies (topped with smarties or m&m’s), any chopped or whole nuts or a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. One batch can be made into a variety of cookies to please everyone and it gives the little chefs some freedom to experiment. A fun holiday activity.
250g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cornflour
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Mix together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and beat in. Sift over the flour and cornflour and mix until just combined.
Roll into small balls and place on baking tray. Flatten the cookies slightly with a lightly floured fork then decorate with what ever takes your fancy.
I made half the cookies and then mixed in a handful of desiccated coconut to the remaining cookie dough before shaping into rounds. It means the cookie dough is a little dryer but the taste is delicious.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly golden.